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Average True Range ATR Stop Loss Method

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Average True Range (ATR) stop loss method is more popular among the experienced traders. In some countries like India it is also known as Day Moving Average (DMA).

Please note that MA (Moving Averages are different than ATR or DMA). Simply put, Moving Averages are calculated on the closing price of a stock on daily basis. It can go from last 5 trading days up to 200 trading days. Moving Averages are mostly used by stock traders who buy stocks for the short or medium term, not Intraday or day traders.

How Is the ATR / DMA Calculated?

The percentage of the difference between the highest point and the lowest point of daily moving averages of last few days is taken into account.

Day traders usually take last 5 days Average True Range, ATR or Day Moving Average, DMA. Some take last 14 days moving averages. Positional traders usually take last 30 days ATR or DMA.

Let us take the last 5 days ATR (Average True Range) of Nifty 50. As on today, the last 5 trading days are 29, 30 Dec 2016, 2, 3 and 4 Jan 2017:

Here is the image of daily high and low of the last 5 days taken from the NSE site:

Nifty 50 Last 5 Trading Days High Low

Nifty 50 Last 5 Trading Days High Low

DateHighLowPoints Difference
29-12-168111.108020.8090.30
30-12-168197.008114.7582.25
2-01-178212.008133.8078.20
3-01-178219.108148.6070.50
4-01-178218.508180.9037.60

Calculating the Day Moving:

90.30 + 82.25 + 78.20 + 70.50 + 37.60 = 358.85 / 5 = 71.77

71.77 is 0.87% of 8256.00 the current spot Nifty price.

Therefore if a day trader has bought Nifty Future to trade Intraday when Nifty spot is at 8256.00 his Stop loss will be at 8256-72 = 8184.00, and sell target, profit will be at 8256+72 = 8328.00. If at the end of the day the trade is in small profit or loss the day trader will exit as the trade was initiated for Intraday day trading and not positional trade.

To Conclude:

The three types of stop loss methods of Intraday or Day Trading:

  • Most Popular Method Normal Stop Loss Orders, in which Trigger and Limit Price are discussed
  • Percentage On Margin Blocked Stop Loss Method, and
  • Average True Range ATR Stop Loss Method
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    About the author: I started trading stock markets since 2007. However my first 3 years were losses. Then I dedicated almost 1 year on studying, researching, paper trading options and learned a lot in that time. Since 2011 I am trading Nifty options profitably. Call me if you need any help trading options on 9051143004.

    { 4 comments… add one }
    • Subodh January 5, 2017, 3:26 pm

      Average ATR stop loss method was new for me, Thanks for explaining that topic Dilip sir!!

    • Chandrakant Chaudhary January 6, 2017, 6:19 am

      Hi sir,
      How to match 71.77 with 8256 spot nifty price.

      • Dilip Shaw January 9, 2017, 9:14 pm

        Chandrakant I could not understand your question properly. I request you to ask again clearly or read the article agian I have explained in simple terms.

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